About Derek Murphy

Hi there! Welcome to my blog, where I teach creative people how start profitable freelance businesses, produce and sell their best work, and “blaze a trail of creative luminosity.” When I started this blog, I had a lot of experience in fine art and publishing. Since then, I’ve started several businesses that generate over $250K in income (it doesn’t all go to me, most of it goes to employees, though I’ve had some $12K months of profit myself).

However, more recently I scaled back so I could finish my PhD in Literature and write my own fiction. So now I only work as much as I need to and mostly focus my time on my own projects. I’m not wealthy, but my wife and I can travel full-time, wake up when we want (usually in the afternoon), eat cake all day and don’t have anyone telling us what to do. This blog is a disorganized brain dump of whatever current project, goal or revelation I’ve had – I share a lot of free content, tutorials and tools, and try to help as many people as I can find their own version of creative independence.

Since I know a lot about writing and painting, the fickle worlds of publishing and fine art, and have gotten pretty damn good at internet marketing, platform building, and online sales, it’s really easy for me to help struggling artists and authors figure out what their problems are and get them earning enough money to quit their jobs and focus on being creative geniuses that change the world.

I write books, make videos, and am working on some courses to help you build a creative empire that doesn’t involve begging for support. I’ve done an incredible amount of research (over 200 books on creativity and counting), and am working on several non-fiction books on art, creativity and vocation. In the meantime, I put up a not-so-little manifesto, which you can download for free here. 

I also put videos up on my YouTube channel… they’re pretty bad, I think, but I’ve also gotten over 3 million views so I know they’re helping people. Plus, we’ve been selected multiple years as one of the best writing sites on the internet, by Writer’s Digest and The Write Life.

best sites for writers awards writers digest write life

This is a personal blog, it’s not where I make my money: I give away most of my books and content for free, which is why I don’t really fret about making this blog professional or organized… but it is authentic, and I rarely try to sell anything (I did launch a course recently, but it sold out as soon as I emailed my list). Currently I’m building up passive income assets and quitting client work, so that I can focus on writing and publishing 100 books in the next 5 years, and then buying a castle to use as a writer’s retreat (I’ve already rented 4, and all the authors who joined can now say they’ve been featured in CNN.

Creativindie is a major part of my platform, but it’s not the actual work that I need to be doing offline (hard work like writing novels and shopping for castles in Europe, where we spend about 3 months a year). Although I’m committed to my own personal projects, I’m also devoted to helping you succeed and removing the biggest barriers to your creative and financial success – so if you get stuck on something and need help, send me an email. I may write an article just for you.

PS. I also have other sites where I talk about book design and book marketing.

More About Me

I’m from Portland, Oregon originally but have lived abroad for most of my life in S. America, Europe and Asia. I studied philosophy in Malta, classical oil painting in Italy, finished my PhD in Comparative Literature in Taiwan. My wife and I enjoy traveling, learning stuff and picking up new hobbies and crafty abilities. (Want to see pics of our adventures? Click here).

A few years ago I founded Book Butchers, a premium book editing service and was a full-time book editor during most of my postgraduate studies. Then I started making book covers for my editing clients, which led to the opening of Creativindie Covers.

Since then I’ve been involved in all aspects of publishing, and helping authors make their books successful. Although I still do a lot of book design, these days I spend most of my time developing resources for indie authors and publishing my own books.

Besides writing and starting businesses, I’ve been a fine artist and now make a steady stream of passive income from my creative content. I painted weird surrealist juxtapositions of pop culture icons.

derek murphy art exhibit obama gaga painting

What is “Creativindie?”

As a writer and artist, for the past 10 years I’ve been wrestling with various forms of this question:


I’ve spent thousands of dollars on books, courses and coaches, and feel I’m beginning to get a grip on what it really takes to turn your passion into profit. I have some pretty complex ideas on what it means to be a creative, professional writer or artist, and I use this blog to sound out theories, and to solve common problems facing artists and authors.

Through research, testing, experimentation and hustle, I’m building up a philosophy and strategy of a creative lifestyle that doesn’t end up in the gutter. I’m not rich and famous (yet), but I’ve figured out enough to be on the right track. I’ve been self-employed for over 8 years and seen my income triple. I’ve also been relatively successful with my own books and paintings (making thousands of dollars, having successful launches and gallery exhibitions, getting positive newspaper and trade magazine reviews).

Find fulfillment, freedom and passion

Derek MurphyThe main idea behind “Creative+Indie” is that you can use your creativity to make things people want to buy, generate your own income, quit your job, control your life, make more money than you ever have before, and lead a lifestyle of luxury and bliss. Creativindie is about freedom and control.

But Creativindie is not only about making money – it’s also a process. An evolution.

I’m determined to build an actionable plan (the Creativindie Manifesto) which will guide you through these specific steps:

  • Generating profitable ideas that will succeed (creativity);
  • Finding time to do what you love and make things of value (productivity);
  • Positioning yourself and your work so that people will notice you (publicity);
  • Creating a tribe of loyal fans and exceptional peers (community);
  • Seizing control of your life, defining your own career, living wherever and however you want (liberty);
  • Filling yourself with passion and joy so that you can give back to the world more than you take from it (luminosity).

The end result, which I view as a required step, is to use your new found wealth and freedom for positive social change, by helping others.

Creative and financial freedom isn’t an end-goal on its own; value lies in the good that you’ll be able to do when you have more power – when you can actually improve the lives of others in a way most people are never able to. I hope to inspire a small army of Creative Independents, who can multiply the good works I’m investing in and make change happen more quickly.

Alto­gether, Creativindie offers much more than a call to action or a lifestyle phi­los­o­phy; it’s my aim to help you become a fully func­tion­ing, bliss­fully happy, self-aware, cre­atively inde­pen­dent global nomad – capa­ble of rad­i­cally trans­form­ing every­one and every ­thing around you.


So if you’re looking for creative genius and insight, and extremely practical guides on how to…

  1. make and sell art or

  2. write and sell books or

  3. start a freelance or online business,

…then you might want to subscribe.


This is the Creativindie Creed

I believe the purpose of our lives is to create something unique that entertains, instructs, challenges or helps others. I believe when we dedicate ourselves to what we enjoy, and refuse to compromise our time by doing things we loathe, we’ll become exceptional, and have something truly valuable to offer others.

I believe artists and authors are confusedly focused on marketing and making money rather than asking what they can contribute; reversing the creative process by first asking how they can be useful and helpful, will radically transform their lives, leading to fame and influence, financial freedom and true wealth.


I believe all of us are capable (and thus responsible) of utilizing our creative abilities to become masters of our own lives, generating more money than we need, and reinvesting our new-found time and resources to make a meaningful and powerful impact.


I’m building a creative community…

And I’m looking for allies who want to step up and play a bigger game.

Does this sound like you?: You know you’ve got the skills, and that you should be doing your own thing rather than working for a job you don’t love to pay the bills. You’d rather be spending all your time writing or painting or developing your own amazing creations. You think you deserve the kind of life successful writers and artists have – total freedom, do what they want when they want, but also in high demand and making lots of money, so they get to travel widely, buy a beautiful house and support their family.

But you’re not sure exactly what you should focus on, how to turn your skills and passion into a profitable business, how to create stuff that people want to buy (not to mention the nuts and bolts stuff like building an online portfolio or publishing a book).

Plus with a job and responsibilities, it’s tough just to get through the day, and you’re usually too tired to find the motivation to do anything other than relax. You need help, guidance, motivation, and a friend who can kick your ass and tell you to get back to work.

Maybe that’s me.

PS) Make sure to sign up to my email list for some creative insight into building a freelance business that runs itself, like my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter to get updates with my latest projects.